Not from the pulpit. Nor dressed in the white cloth.
From the comfort of his AC room, attired in blue T-shirt and matching shorts. via his PC through cyber space to try -- in vain or pain? -- to reach all listeners who are prepared to lend their ears.
This exceptional Inter:Lude, I'm preaching CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.
For once Desi's unashamed selling some medicine. Openly. Upfront on the counter. If you wish to propagate the mesaage on L&E, my only appeal you get the pronunciation öf the special "medsin" rite!:)
There is no Hell called upon to punish the unbelievers;
neither is Heaven promised as a reward for obedience.
This is an Appeal to Personal Conscience.
Respect for and Safegurading on One's Basic Human Right.
Sunday-schoolers and Thy Holiness parents are warned not to read further for the contents may run counter to thy faith and hence prove hazardous to thy health.
Desi can be condemned to burn in good hella, but don't wish the same to befall any unwitting victim of similar bent. Socialists and socilaites are most welcomed to keep on reading. ~~ Desiderata with a flourish, or a boucake of flour/flower.
From the great examples set by Mahatma Gandhi leading his fellow countrymen in mammoth public oprotests against the British colonialist masters on the road to achieving India's independence; and across the seven seas, Rev Jesse Jackson in fighting for equal rights for fellow discriminated minority Americans. Peaceful demonstration of protest against the authorities for current or impending acts that rob the citizenry of their comfort and basic enjoyment of life that they expect of the government to sustain and promote when the government has been elected into power on a an impliocit undserstanding the "social contract"would be maintained and promoted.
In NegaraKu, the recently announced toll price increases of 20% to 60% come Jan 1, 2007 clearly is ground for the affected roadusers of the five highways involved have a case to protes that the authorities or government are not serving the best interests of the citizenry. It is blatantly clear the political masters and the concessionaires are the main beneficiaries in ensuring the continued enjoyment of huge profits worked out in LOP-SIDED AGREEMENTS (nevertheless by the olde regime and which current PM Pak Lah meekly inherited three years ago).
The ordinafry people are suffering under a regime of rising inflation on stagnant salaries, allowances, and worst, in many cases of partial or full unemployment with hardxly any welfare support, and this includes a large section of the "retirees and infirm".
When a citizen feels he's aggrieved and that the government of te day has brushed aside the ordinary Public Joe's interests in favour of certain "parties"(READ: Corporate and Political CRONIES), they are entitled to show their displeasure.
Come Jan 1, 2007, citizens in the Klang Valley have to oput on their thinking caps to "demonstrate" their opposition to the toll rise.
Yesterday, Channel News Asiahad a report Melissa Goh about that breakthrough meeting betwen Mahathir and Soros who agreed to promote world peace
after a long feud famous for the savvy trading of epithets of "Menace to your country" and "Moron".
I am interested only in the second part towards the end, reproduced here:
"I would like to say that I am not anti-Semitic, I am not anti-Jew but I certainly am very much against what's happening in Palestine, where the Israelis have tried to out-terrorise the Palestinians," said Dr Mahathir.
Both men say a solution to the Middle East crisis can only be reached through political means and not through military action.
Meanwhile, nearly 300 Malaysians staged an hour long anti-war protest outside the US embassy.
The protestors, mostly from the opposition Islamic party PAS, blamed the Bush administration for the continued suffering of the people in war strife Iraq and the Palestinian territory.
Armed with banners and chanting anti-Israel slogans, the protestors later submitted a memorandum to the US embassy calling for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq.
I reproduced the news about PAS' demostration to drive home the point that the Royal Malaysian Police -- which comes under the jurisdiction of the Internal Affairs Minister, which by the way, is headed by none other than the Prime Minister himself -- has been often "selective"in the way they react to public demonstrations. When the ïssue"conincides with the government's (I guess the PAS stand iwas in tune with UMNO's in the above reported case), the demo was allowed to proceed peacefully.
Contrast with the weekly demos against the pertol price hikes which ordinary citizens mounted ear the KLCC, which of course, houses the skyscraper Twin Towers hosting the "small" beauty of PETRONAS HQ. For the first feew Friday demos,the local press completely "blacked"out the event, until into the third or fourth week, the FRU caused several faces to oooze blood, so dramatically captured and flashed worldwide by the Internet media.
My appeal to the government is that it should be consistent and not practise double standards -- not one standard for UMNO YOuth and another standrad for Opposition or just ordinary rakyat when they gather peacefully for their Cause.
One subject few Malaysians discourse on -- what more exercise as a matter of basic human right -- is on CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.
Often, concepts spelt out starting with DIS--- e.g. discourse, dismiss, discipline distance, dismay and dismember; I know some ER are shaking their heads at the poor samples, now at least I know you're not asleep on sleepy Sundae! -- are often frowned on by the conservatives among us -- "Ha, Desi preaching disobedience and how is this congruent to promoting a Civil Society, may I ask?" I can anticipate such interrogators. But not for some ER I think I have visiting here -- like Helen, FashionAsia and Anak Merdeka. As for the males like Mave SM, Howsy and Imran -- hey, I do exercise Gender Discernment here, okay! -- they are by nature or inclination or Heaven forbid, by Devil's advocacy, borne Disobedient, so let's not preach to the inherited.
One of my fave teachers is HENRY DAVID THOREAU, and I had writ before that I have a dog-eared copy of his WALDEN-ESSAY ON CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE,
AN AIRMONT CLASSIC, Published by Airmont Publishing Co., Inc.
Following is an extract from the back-flap ~~ "There are nowadays professors of philosophy but not philosophers. To be a philosopher is to solve some of the problems of life not only theoretically but practically."
Today's Inter:Lude is in response to the upcoming Toll Increases affecting five highways in the Klang Valley in two weeks' time, and Desi's not-so-subttle call to the conscientious citizens to rise up and be counted. I let out a secret that I celebrated New Year's Day 2005 with some 30 comrades at the Furong Toll Plaza protesting the PLUS 10% price increase (RM6.60 to RM7.20 for KL-Seremban and vice-versa). I didn't know Anak M then so I had not rallied her -- but come New Year's Day 2007, how many Serembanites wanna join Desi for a long walk to KL/PJ for a Deja Vu celeb? -Call toll-free 1800 012-9702-285.Today's rumination was also motivated by sisdar Helen and FA's comments plus recent encounters with newbies here, nat and freelunch and not-so-newbies like johnleemk and Theels and Others I feel too weak to mention as I had cut down inputs by half in anticipation of toll price rise (wow, the last two words doth rime!). -- I call them The Young&Articulate.
Lust night, as I planned my Rumination, I knew I was going to extract substantively and substantially from Thoreau's Essay, but one kind soul named Sameer Parekh (zane@ddsw1.MCS.COM) 1-12-91 had typed out the whole essay which I googled, and here I would like to record my indebtedness to a soul-matey writer who can appreciate exquisite thoughts and "laboured" (Who says there's no such thig as a freelunch?) to fete other Homo sapiens members, generously. One salute, mGf, for thy manna, and manners.
by Henry David Thoreau
"I heartily accept the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe -- "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which the will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. Witness the present Mexican war, the work of comparatively a few individuals using the standing government as their tool; for in the outset, the people would not have consented to this measure.
This American government -- what is it but a tradition, though a recent one, endeavoring to transmit itself unimpaired to posterity, but each instant losing some of its integrity? It has not the vitality and force of a single living man; for a single man can bend it to his will. It is a sort of wooden gun to the people themselves. But it is not the less necessary for this; for the people must have some complicated machinery or other, and hear its din, to satisfy that idea of government which they have. Governments show thus how successfully men can be imposed upon, even impose on themselves, for their own advantage. It is excellent, we must all allow. Yet this government never of itself furthered any enterprise, but by the alacrity with which it got out of its way. It does not keep the country free. It does not settle the West. It does not educate. The character inherent in the American people has done all that has been accomplished; and it would have done somewhat more, if the government had not sometimes got in its way. For government is an expedient, by which men would fain succeed in letting one another alone; and, as has been said, when it is most expedient, the governed are most let alone by it."
After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue, to rule is not because they are most likely to be in the right, nor because this seems fairest to the minority, but because they are physically the strongest. But a government in which the majority rule in all cases can not be based on justice, even as far as men understand it. Can there not be a government in which the majorities do not virtually decide right and wrong, but conscience? -- in which majorities decide only those questions to which the rule of expediency is applicable? Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then? I think that we should be men first, and subjects afterward. It is not desirable to cultivate a respect for the law, so much as for the right. The only obligation which I have a right to assume is to do at any time what I think right. It is truly enough said that a corporation has no conscience; but a corporation on conscientious men is a corporation with a conscience. Law never made men a whit more just; and, by means of their respect for it, even the well-disposed are daily made the agents on injustice. A common and natural result of an undue respect for the law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart. They have no doubt that it is a damnable business in which they are concerned; they are all peaceably inclined. Now, what are they? Men at all? or small movable forts and magazines, at the service of some unscrupulous man in power? Visit the Navy Yard, and behold a marine, such a man as an American government can make, or such as it can make a man with its black arts -- a mere shadow and reminiscence of humanity, a man laid out alive and standing, and already, as one may say, buried under arms with funeral accompaniment, though it may be,
"Not a drum was heard, not a funeral note, As his corse to the rampart we hurried; Not a soldier discharged his farewell shot O'er the grave where out hero was buried."
DESI: I urge my ER to spend some time ruminating over today's sirmon, my first actually, and if you think there is merit, spread the message. If you think not, throw some french toast in my face, ideally layered with peanut butter seven-centimeter thick. Hopefully, I'll keep a date at one of the PJ toll stations to welcome the New Year.
Come 2008, I'll recycle some olde placards and do likewise either at Furong or Ipoh PLUS toll station. See, how forward planning Desi's capable of.
""The mass of men serve the state thus, not as men mainly, but as machines, with their bodies. They are the standing army, and the militia, jailers, constables, posse comitatus, etc. In most cases there is no free exercise whatever of the judgement or of the moral sense; but they put themselves on a level with wood and earth and stones; and wooden men can perhaps be manufactured that will serve the purpose as well...""